The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy has selected ten literacy programs around Texas to receive grants totaling nearly $400,000. Neil Bush, who serves as the co-chair of the Foundation together with his wife Maria, announced the grants on behalf of his mother, Former First Lady Barbara Bush.
In announcing the awards, Neil said that his family, and the entire foundation, were excited about supporting programs that had such an enormous impact on Texas families. Barbara Bush had championed literacy during her time in the White House, and has continued to support the cause once her husband left office in 1992. Neil said that his mother's long association with the cause lent the foundation and the grants extra prestige.
"The ability to read, write and comprehend empowers people to create brighter and more prosperous futures for themselves, their families and their communities," said Mrs. Bush. "Through the efforts of our Texas Fund and the family literacy programs supported, we believe that it is important this year in hard times to volunteer more, give more money and use our resources to support family literacy programs."
The ten winners were selected from the applications submitted to the foundation, and after a vigorous evaluation process that involved the foundation's leadership. Those picked were chosen based on their proved track record of effective literacy programs and their ability to reach the largest number of people in their communities. The judges also looked at the demographics of the state residents these groups served.
After the deliberations were over, Advocacy Outreach, in Elgin, Communities in Schools Central Texas in Austin, Lamar CISD in Rosenberg, Austin Learning Academy in Aust, Northside ISD in San Antonia, Plano ISD Foundation in Plano, Victoria Adult Literacy Council in Victoria, and Literacy Council of Tyler were each selected to receive grants of $50,000. In addition, Aberg Center in Dallas and Northside Inter-Community Agency in Fort Worth will receive planning grants of $5,000 to support their efforts in establishing links within their communities in order to begin developing literacy efforts in the future.
Since 1996, the Texas initiative has awarded 169 grants totaling almost $4.8 million for family literacy programs in Texas. Founded by Former First Lady Barbara Bush in 1989, Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy supports the development and expansion of family literacy programs — in settings where parents and children read and learn together – across the United States. Grants are awarded on a competitive basis to nonprofit organizations, correctional institutions, homeless shelters, schools and school districts, libraries and community- and faith-based agencies.